UA in Belize: First Impressions
Upon arrival to the Belize City Airport, I was nervous to go through customs, as this was my first time ever leaving the United States. A group of students on the trip with me gathered and helped me fill out the customs form and this made me less nervous. After going through customs which was actually quite easy, I picked up my luggage and headed outside to find my faculty instructor and most of the students from the course waiting for me. Everyone talked and got to know each other briefly as we waited for the last few students flying from Miami to Belize. We met our guide, Martin, and he asked us if we knew any Spanish. It seemed strange at the time because I assumed that he would just be driving us to our next location, little did I know that he would end up playing a huge role in our trip and that we would have a hard time saying goodbye to him later on. A few of us took a trip inside to find the restrooms. This was interesting because we skipped the first restroom we found because it didn’t have running water only to find that the other bathroom option was the same way. The weather outside was kind of humid and hot but not uncomfortable. I would’ve been happy in any weather just because I was so excited to see new things. Once everyone arrived, our guide and other drivers loaded all of our luggage into a van and we all loaded on to a bus. Martin began to describe the different cultures found in Belize as we began our drive from Belize City to Big Falls, a small city near Punta Gorda. He told us the main groups of people in Belize are Mayans, Mestizos, and Creole, with Mennonites being the minority. This was surprising to me and immediately sparked my interest and I couldn’t wait to learn as much as possible about local culture.